Remember the Digable Planets? Grammy-winning early 90s seminal jazz meets hip hop group? You know, they cool like that? Good, I knew you would. Fast forward 15+ years and find Butterfly (aka Ishmael Butler) leading a new avant-garde hip hop group called Shabazz Palaces, based out of Seattle, WA. As a quick primer, I’m gonna drop this abstract short movie shot in Watts & directed by Kahlil Joseph, featuring 3 tracks from their first EPs; Of Light and it’s self-titled follow up.
They’re definitely a far cry from a conventional hip hop group, with a much bassier and experimental sound, a noticeable absence of mixtapes, and a cloud of mystery behind who actually plays in the group, aside from Butterfly. Oh, and did I mentioned they are signed to pioneering punk & DIY label Sub-Pop? In fact, their debut full-length LP, Black Up, is the label’s first ever “hip hop” release, which dropped in June of this year. Check out a few tracks from the release on the soundcloud widget below..
They played in Vancouver exactly 2 days before I arrived here, so I unfortunately haven’t had a chance to check out their live performance, which seems rather compelling as these sessions would indicate..
There are several tracks up from their session at KEXP in Seattle – the latter video is one of them, check out the related videos for more. Keep up with Shabazz Palaces on their website or facebook fan page.